DNR considers options for potential snowmobile trail at Blue Mound State Park

DANE COUNTY, Wis. (WMTV)-- A snowmobile trail could be coming to Blue Mound State Park, and different winter sporting groups are giving their input.

One option for a snowmobile trail at Blue Mound State Park would revive this old service road.

Tuesday night, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources hosted a public meeting at Mount Horeb High School. Phil Rynish, the lead planner for the Blue Mound State Park project presented the different options or “management alternatives” being considered for the draft master plan. After gathering initial public input, the DNR created a number of options per topic, which ranged from camping to snowmobiling.

Rynish said a potential snowmobile trail was surrounded by “lots of public interest.”

Currently, the Blue Mound State Park does not have a paved snowmobile trail. Snowmobile riders like Sam Landes ride along the roadside, which Landes said, is typically “difficult terrain.” A trail within the park would also connect the existing trails around the park.

“We feel it’s a fair, reasonable request,” Landes said. ”It connects us north-south. It gives us another north-south trail system to connect Dane County, Iowa County and Green County. It’s a completed system.”

The DNR proposed four options for snowmobile riders.

Landes, who is also executive director of the Association of Wisconsin Snowmobile Clubs, said his group favors an option that would revive an old service trail.

Ian Duncan, representing his cross country ski club members, said the idea was a “poor alternative.”

“We think there already is access,” Duncan said. “It might not be the greatest of routes, but they [snowmobile riders] do have a connector present at possible. They don't understand what happens on those ski trails.”

Duncan said he had been skiing at Blue Mound for more than 30 years.

“I go there simply because of the beauty of the woods,” he said. “The quietness. The tranquility. The occasional bird sounds. And the lack of other noise or unpleasant fumes that come from snowmobiles.”

Duncan said he favored an option that would create a new snowmobile trail, west of the park. Currently, the route is on private land.

The other two options suggested by the DNR include constructing a two-way trail along the Mounds Park Road to Ryan Road corridor and making no changes.

The DNR is taking public comment until December 2. More information can be found here.